CRACKING THE BOOKS: Homework…do we really need it?

Do you remember coming home after a long day at school, sitting down and getting so excited for the book you’re about to start reading?

But then you open your bag, and realise you have Maths, English and Geography homework due THE NEXT DAY?

Well, this is the reality that school children are going through every single day. Children as young as 7 and 8 years old are having to do a lot of homework every night.

I decided to interview a teacher, and some of the children in my year to get their opinion on the matter.

Holly – age 12

‘I know that a lot of kids, including myself, have sports, tutoring, chores etc. when they get home from school. On top of all this, kids have to do homework! That homework, on top of everything else, builds up a lot of excess stress and anxiety for all involved making our home life difficult and unmanageable.  

Plus, I never get enough sleep, because I am always up until very late attempting to finish all my homework and hand it in on its due date!’

Abbey – age 12

‘Homework, for me, seems to keep getting in the way of family life. My Grandparents live four hours away, and we rarely get to see them. I sometimes have to miss out on very important family events, because I have to complete all of my homework on time.

I suggest that we still have homework, but have a lot less, or a longer period of time to be able to complete it.’

Cormac – age 12

‘I don’t think we really need homework in our younger years of primary because we don’t necessarily need to study for anything. As we get older, it becomes more crucial to empower our brains and to memorise answers.’

Anonymous teacher/ parent age 40

“Homework isn’t just about making kids do more work. Homework is a way for kids to organise their time and prioritise what they need to revise. BUT, homework can be more than just revising what has been learned at school. It can be a ‘preview’ for what is to come.

For example, if you know you are learning about a new topic in a few weeks and you don’t know much about it, or you’re not very confident in the area, this can be a wonderful opportunity for you to ask questions, learn from others and get some background information to increase your curiosity and confidence.

In a nutshell, I think homework should have options. It doesn’t have to be the same each week and students should have some ownership over their homework. It is also important to value the work done by students. Sharing your findings with others is a way to create new questions and wonderings for yourself and others.”

Well, what are your thoughts?

Do you think that all of this extra stress, but more knowledge should be put on kids? Let us know below!

Written by Mia Kearney